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The Covenant of Water

The Covenant of Water is the long-awaited new novel by Abraham Verghese, the author of Cutting for Stone. Published in 2009, Cutting for Stone became a literary phenomenon, selling over 1.5 million copies in the United States alone and remaining on the New York Times bestseller list for over two years.

Spanning the years 1900 to 1977, The Covenant of Water is set in Kerala, on South India’s Malabar Coast, and follows three generations of a family that suffers a peculiar affliction: in every generation, at least one person dies by drowning–and in Kerala, water is everywhere. The family is part of a Christian community that traces itself to the time of the apostles, but times are shifting, and the matriarch of this family, known as Big Ammachi–literally “Big Mother”–will witness unthinkable changes at home and at large over the span of her extraordinary life. All of Verghese’s great gifts are on display in this new work: there are astonishing scenes of medical ingenuity, fantastic moments of humor, a surprising and deeply moving story, and characters imbued with the essence of life.

A shimmering evocation of a lost India and of the passage of time itself, The Covenant of Water is a hymn to progress in medicine and to human understanding, and a humbling testament to the hardships undergone by past generations for the sake of those alive today. It is one of the most masterful literary novels published in recent years.

 

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Cutting for Stone

Twin brothers Marion and Shiva Stone are born of a tragic union between an Indian nun and a British surgeon at a mission hospital in Addis Ababa. Orphaned by their mother?s death in childbirth and their father?s disappearance, and bound together by a preternatural connection and a shared fascination with medicine, the twins come of age as Ethiopia hovers on the brink of revolution.

But it is love?their passion for the same woman?and not politics that will tear them apart, forcing Marion to flee his homeland and make his way to the United States, where he finds refuge in his work at an underfunded, overcrowded New York City hospital. When the past catches up to him, wreaking havoc and destruction, Marion has to entrust his life to the two men he has trusted least in the world.

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Cover for The Tennis Partner

The Tennis Partner

When Abraham Verghese, a physician whose marriage is unraveling, relocates to El Paso, Texas, he hopes to make a fresh start as a staff member at the county hospital. There he meets David Smith, a professional tennis player and medical resident recovering from drug addiction, and the two men begin a tennis ritual that allows them to relax with each other and find security in the game they both love.

This friendship between doctor and intern grows increasingly rich and complex, more intimate than two men usually allow. And just when it seems nothing can go wrong, a dark beast from David?s past emerges once again. As David spirals out of control, almost everything Verghese has come to trust and believe in is threatened. The Tennis Partner?is an unforgettable, illuminating story of how men live, and how they survive.

 

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cover for My Own Country

My Own Country

My Own Country is set in the town of Johnson City, Tennessee. Nestled in the Smoky Mountains of eastern Tennessee, the town had always seemed exempt from the anxieties of modern American life. But when the local hospital treated its first AIDS patient in the 1980s, a crisis that had once seemed an ?urban problem? arrived in town to stay.

At the time, Abraham Verghese was a young doctor specializing in infectious diseases at a Johnson City hospital. Of necessity, he became the local AIDS expert, soon besieged by a shocking number of patients, men and women whose stories came to occupy his mind, and even take over his life.

Verghese brought a singular perspective to Johnson City: a doctor unique in his abilities; an outsider who could talk to people suspicious of local practitioners; and a writer who saw that what was happening in this conservative community was both a medical and a spiritual emergency.

Out of his experience comes a startling but ultimately uplifting portrait of the American heartland as it confronts?and surmounts?its deepest prejudices and fears.

 

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